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The Reduction in Maternal Mortality

The reduction in maternal mortality is one of the major goals of international public health. It is considered a critical issue worldwide since about 585,000 women die each year due to pregnancy-related complications (Center for Global Development, 2007). The program on maternal health in Sri Lanka, which began in the 1950s, was successful for several reasons associated with the country’s cultural and political features. Firstly, Sri Lanka offers universal and free healthcare services for its citizens even in rural areas, so the prophylactic measures decrease healthcare costs. Secondly, the increase in the number of midwives and their professionalism helped to prevent complications in mothers and newborns. Finally, the use of health information allowed medical providers to improve the assessment of patients’ conditions and enhance the decision-making process. Overall, the public health initiative allowed to decrease in the rates of maternal death and the expenses of the healthcare system.

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Cultural diversity and beliefs impact maternal health and medical services. Dr. Mancuso noted that in Nigeria, a strict Muslim country, an imam, or a religious spokesperson, has a considerable influence on people (Laureate Education, 2010). Thus, community leaders should be involved in healthcare to learn about the needs of patients, promote access to care, and advocate for the quality of services. As for my cultural background, I do not represent an ethnic minority, which is at risk of health disparities. However, healthcare providers might make an assumption based on my age or employment in a large hospital. Middle-aged patients are often viewed as a vulnerable group for diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure, while my profession implies that I should take better care of my health (Ahmad et al., 2016). Thus, the assumptions may affect nursing care because of the focus on stereotypes instead of the person’s current physical and health condition.

I believe that any health promotion program should concentrate on the well-being of the patients and respect their cultural and ethnic backgrounds. As a nurse and a researcher based in Philadelphia, PA, I observe health disparities in access to primary care among uninsured African American and Hispanic patients. Many of those patients reside in medically underserved areas and have to use transportation to reach healthcare facilities (Brown et al., 2016). I would like a health promotion program to address the issues of geographic restrictions for ethnic and racial minorities via the establishment of local medical facilities, community health providers, or remote patient monitoring services.


Ahmad, F. S., Ning, H., Rich, J. D., Yancy, C. W., Lloyd-Jones, D. M., & Wilkins, J. T. (2016). Hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and heart failure-free survival: The cardiovascular disease lifetime risk pooling project. J Am Coll Cardiol Heart Fail, 4(12), 911–919.

Brown, E. J., Polsky, D., Barbu, C. M., Seymour, J., & Grande, D. (2016). Racial disparities in geographic access to primary care in Philadelphia. Health Affairs, 35(8).

Center for Global Development. (2007). Saving mothers’ lives in Sri Lanka [PDF document].

Laureate Education (Producer). (2010). Public and global health: Influence of cultural diversity on global health [Video]. Author.

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